CTN-0004: MET (Motivational Enhancement Treatment) to Improve Treatment Engagement and Outcome in Subjects Seeking Treatment for Substance Abuse

Kathleen Carroll, PhD
Lead Investigator
Department of Psychiatry
VA CT Healthcare Center (151D)

A considerable body of research has shown strong support for the usefulness of motivational interventions in initiating treatment and in reducing use of alcohol, cigarettes, and abused drugs.  This study examined the effect of a treatment approach called Motivational Enhancement Treatment (MET), which is a manual-based treatment based on the principles of Motivational Interviewing in comparison to counseling-as-usual (CAU).  The MET counselor evokes a person’s intrinsic desire and ability to change drug use behaviors, rather than imposing a directive “do this” approach.

Primary Findings

While clients in both treatment conditions reduced substance use during the 4-week treatment periods, clients whose treatment included MET were significantly more likely to sustain this reduced use over the 12-week follow-up, and the CAU clients increased their use during that time.  In addition, this trial established a standard for MI training and delivery, and demonstrated the essential role played by clinical supervisors in ensuring effective treatment delivery, and a regimen of rigorous training and supervision in MI has been broadly accepted in the field.

Primary Outcomes Article: Ball S, et al. Site matters: Multisite randomized trial of motivational enhancement therapy in community drug abuse clinics. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology 2007;75(4):556-567. [get article]

    Node Involvement

    Lead Node(s):

  • New England Consortium

  • All Participating Nodes:

  • Delaware Valley Node
  • New England Consortium
  • Pacific Region Node